One of the more puzzling parts parts about the invention of the telephone (at least to our modern way of thinking) is that when Bell first showed off his telephone, many people argued that we didnt actually need such a device. Why would you want to hear someones voice when you could just send them a telegram instead? The truth is, the telegraph was an extremely limited system.
The telegraph was only popular because it was the only way to transmit messages over long distances at this point in time. The two biggest problems with the telegraph were its dot and dash Morse code system, which limited the device to only receiving and sending one message at a time, as well as its reliance on physical lines.
A break anywhere in the line including in undersea intercontinental cables would disable the system. Telegraphs were also limited by their reliance on repeaters, which needed to be placed along the telegraph line to ensure the signal could reach long distances. Repeaters werent just automatic relay stations: they were stations where a technician had to receive the signal, then re-transmit that signal down the line.
Understandably, the world needed a telephone to improve global communications. If someone asked you who invented the telephone, youd probably answer Alexander Graham Bell. But just like schoolkids used to learn that Edison invented electricity, this invention story isnt always true. The truth is: there were six different inventors working on electrical telephones around this time with high levels of success.
As Wikipedia describes it, The early history of the telephone became and still remains a confusing morass of claims and counterclaims. This history is confounded further by the fact that these inventors would later file lawsuits against each other. Claims led to counterclaims and lawsuits failed to clarify who exactly invented what.
Nevertheless, thanks to US patents, we know who invented the telephone from a practical standpoint: the Bell and Edison patents were commercially decisive because they dominated telephone technology. Over the years, these patents would hold up in numerous court decisions across America. The six inventors typically credited with invented some type of electrical telephony device include: Alexander Graham Bell: Bell received the first US patent for the invention of the telephone in 1876.Bell used his own musical or harmony approach as a practical solution to the telegraphs problems Bells harmonic telegraph was based on the idea that several notes could be sent along the way simultaneously as long as the notes or signals had different pitches. Thomas Edison: Edison is credited with inventing the carbon microphone, which produced a strong telephone signal. Antonio Meucci: In 1854, he constructed telephone-like devices. Johann Philipp Reis: In 1860, Reis constructed Reis telephones, but stopped just short of making these telephones practical, working devices. Elisha Gray: In 1876, Gray used a water microphone to create a telephone in Highland Park, Illinois.
Gray and Bell developed their inventions simultaneously and independently, which is why these two would fight a vicious legal battle over who actually invented the telephone (see below). Out of all the inventors listed above, the biggest contention is whether Bell or Gray invented the telephone.
These two were the closest to creating what we know as modern, working telephones. The controversy actually went before the Canadian Parliament and United States House of Representatives at one point. Im not going to go into huge detail here because its outside the scope of this but you can read up on the Ultimately, we can safely say the telephone is the work of many people. Bell, however, is credited with inventing the first practical, patented telephone mostly because Bell won the famous legal battle instead of Gray. The item "1892 American Bell Telephone Company brass candle stick dial antique 126 years" is in sale since Thursday, March 22, 2018.
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